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Elysia Myers’ love of wine has spilled over to the canvas. The Denver-based artist and University of Colorado at Boulder alum creates landscapes and florals using proprietary paint she makes from wine.
“I love that with wine there’s already so much passion that has gone into that bottle before I even start painting with it,” she says. “Wine is already art and no other painting mediums are like that.”
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Myers was inspired by a painting she saw online that incorporated coffee. “That was the first time I’d ever heard of or seen someone using a beverage as paint. It instantly piqued my interest if I could do that with wine,” she says. Though it was not even close to five o’clock, Myers put down her own cup of coffee and drove to the nearest liquor store in search of the darkest bottle of red they had in stock. That purchase launched a months-long endeavor to figure out how to best transfer the rich hues of various wine varietals—from Chardonnay gold to the deep purple of a Cabernet Sauvignon—to paper. Myers’ multistep process is so detailed (no, she won’t share the specifics) that she’s able to bring out subtle variations in matching varietals made in different regions.
The resulting ‘wine paint’ is showcased in mountain scenes and floral designs that evoke both the patina and terroir of wine. Her work evokes watercolors but with added complexity and depth. “[Wine] behaves differently than any other medium I’ve used,” the 32-year-old says. “You sort of have to coax the art out of it.”
Adding to the uniqueness: Myers often uses corks as her paintbrushes, making her work truly bottle-to-paper. She’s also started experimenting with using masking fluid, a quick-drying glue; she paints over it with wine and, once the glue is removed, it reveals pops of white that maintain the textured cork markings.
You can see that new trajectory in her recently released fall collection of earth-toned, nature-inspired scenes. Because travel and exploration—Myers’ usual points of inspiration—are not feasible right now, she’s instead turned inward. “I’m tapping into this dreamy place,” she says of her new works. “It’s the opposite of what the world feels like right now. The world feels very chaotic and frenzied and a little bit depressing, so I reached for the opposite of that and tapped into something that was warm and quiet and peaceful and more hopeful.”
Her originals and prints (she also does commissions) make the perfect presents for wine lovers. Our suggestion: Pair the gift with a bottle that matches a wine used in the artwork. Myers has also curated special holiday bundles; the Modern Florals trios are our favorites. Last-minute shoppers can pick up their purchases at her Art District on Santa Fe–adjacent studio. (The shipping cutoff date for a Christmas arrival is December 17.)
To share her love of wine and provide people with a creative outlet in a socially distant world, Myers launched virtual wine painting workshops for vino fans across the country this past summer. She hosts them every four to six weeks, and they can be gifted, too; the next one will be held on Sunday, January 24, at 3 p.m. and will focus on flowers.
For each beginner-friendly, 2.5-hour class ($90 for one painter, $155 for two), Myers mails a kit filled with all of the materials you’ll need, including four handmade wine paints. “Ultimately, I want people to be able to try something new—that’s what’s so much fun about it,” she says. “But I also want them to come away with at least one, but hopefully more, pieces that they actually want to display in their home or gift to a friend.”
Just don’t forget to buy a bottle of wine to enjoy while you work. For the full experience, of course.